granted, I'm a little short on "experience", but hear me out. I've said this already before - apologies for the redundancy...
I absolutely agree. I put 15k awesome miles on mine. at the 25k mark, rpm swing, come to the forum and uhhh-oh! - clutch replacement. I'm preparing for the $2k hit... and it's coming out of what I saved for an engagement ring.
yes, I can afford the annual service costs, which are steep regardless of which dealer you have. I'm fine with paying them to do it right so I can ride worry free. all vehicles have that - call it "regular maintenance" (duh).
unexpected costs of all previous vehicles:
honda: $0 in 80k
toyota: $300 - starter at 130k, $200 alternator at 150k
audi: $700 - tie rods, swing arm, wheel bearings in 40k
I also had the timing belts and tires replaced (consider that "regular"), plus oil changes and flushes obviously. say like $200-300 per trip to the service dept for each vehicle. that's generous. fine and dandy.
the LT needs all that stuff. trip to the dealer: $350-700 for "regular" maintenance. fine and dandy.
unexpected costs for BMW:
LT: $2000 - clutch @ 30k next time I go to the dealer. I put 15k on before a $2000 problem?
Add the "regular" maintenance cost of $300+ for the 30k "check up". I'm considering asking them to replace the QDs, shift linkage, and throttle cables (my throttle sticks severely), and rear disc which is loose and sounds like cowbells over railroad tracks - whoops! add another $800+ P&L.
I'm looking forward to $3000+ job next month. 30k miles on any machine should not be this expensive. "ALL BRANDS HAVE THEIR PROBLEMS" well yes, they do, but most brands don't cost THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS to fix. my bike is only worth $10k at most. where do you draw the line between paying for repairs and cutting your losses?
I hope my rear drive lasts as long as some of yours. I'm confident it will. same with the ABS. at least if that fails, it doesn't require fixing, just disconnecting the LED in the dash. there are 2 more $2k+ jobs.
the fact is this: whatever vehicle you think was expensive to maintain... it wasn't. the audi dealer (DEALER!! $75/hr) replaced a timing belt for $1100. I thought that was the biggest garage bill I would ever see. 10 hours of work + P&L. at least I had time to prepare for that. this clutch job is TWICE that?
to prospective owners: if you are tight on money, seriously consider another sled. with the purchase price of a used LT + $2k for a clutch (roll the dice) - plus anticipated costs for final drive and ABS (both rolls of the dice), plus misc costs for throttle cables, QDs, shift linkage, and hell I could've bought a brand new LT, GW, or HD and had the warranty!!
some of you say "just ride it". great advice! but that's not the answer.
and newbies - note that NOT EVERYONE HAS FAILURES!! many many riders here have had no problems. I bet the majority (50-75%) of the members here have had no problems. 140k with no problems? I'd love to be that guy. I'd be happy with even 70k worth of s'mile's. do you like Vegas? roll the dice on a used LT and see if you roll craps. I bet on BMWs legacy and lost $2k and counting. take your chances - what, 20% of LTs suffer clutch failures? take your pick out of 5 - pick the wrong one and it will cost $2k to fix. 10%? 5%? i bet it's way higher than that considering A) the riders on here who experience it and B) the dealers knowing full well about the drain hole, etc etc.
my dealer has a floor mat in the entryway - "BMW - legendary motorcycles from Germany" oh yeah? you've had 90 years of motorcycle engineering experience and still have critical failures that cost your riders double what the most expensive garage bill I've had in my lifetime was?
not many people want to put $1k aside every year "in case" their LT rears its ugly head in the form of a critical design flaw. I'd rather be saving for an engagement ring. "whine whine whine" - show me a single vehicle, on the roads of this planet, out of warranty, that costs $3000 to fix in under 30k miles and I'll quit whining.
scared? reluctant to dive into the world of riding BMW? I would be. yeah, I know so many of you are thinking "BLASPHEMER!! how dare you cometh on a BMW forum and complain about thy LT God." I'm just saying if you get an LT - you will, guaranteed, have to face clutch and rear drive replacements. 100k+ is the norm on these items, but some have to face them much sooner.
I'm just hoping not to roll craps in the future. When the time comes to replace it, I may get another LT, but I will definitely investigate further into the failures of certain models/years. If people ask me for advice about buying one, I will tell them exactly what I wrote in this post and let them decide if it's worth it. having said that, I love the bike and will continue to ride it and fix it IF it breaks.
edit: if anyone comes on and says "that's not true - bunchya rubbish - whatever you noob - troll!! - etc":
the fact is the clutch has an extremely well documented cause of failure via the slave or main seal leak between 20-30k. take your chances. and boy oh boy is it expensive to fix if you don't do it yourself. I'm simply advising you to beware of hefty unexpected costs.
Last edited by rjhammetter; May 17th, 2007 at 11:13 pm.